Tinkering With Ideas #022: Don't let people steal your energy

published9 days ago
2 min read

Hi Reader 👋 -

Happy Wednesday. I didn't send a newsletter two weeks ago... it was the week before school started, my parents were visiting, and my 6-year-old was sick. I thought about sending it late, but why stress?

And that's kind of the theme of today's newsletter: protecting your peace.

1) Reflection:

I recently joined TikTok (yes, I know, I'm late to the party) and one video garnered a few thousand views. And along with it, some critical comments.

There may have been a time in my life when I would have replied, but why bother? I'm unlikely to change anyone's opinion on The Internet.

And I posted something on LinkedIn about remote work and one comment began with "I think that's a pretty limited view..." I replied to that one because I thought it was important to point out alternative perspectives. The guy doubled down, again telling me I had a "narrow view." I deleted his comment.

My point is, do whatever you have to do to protect your peace. Block people, if it makes sense. Or just delete comments. There's no reason you have to look at them — it's your content. And there's a difference between sharing alternative viewpoints and tolerating someone determined to "come after" you.

(Btw, the best TikTok comment was someone telling me I'll never amount to anything, lol.)

2) Product:

I love Calendly, I do. But sometimes too many meetings end up on my calendar. Calenly only allows me to limit meetings per day, instead of per week or per month.

And it's specific to the type of meeting, so even with a one-per-day limit, I could still end up with multiple meetings they're from different links I've shared. (C'mon Calendly, I can't be the only person who wants this to be different!)

I do work that needs a lot of heads-down focus time and I figured out how to control the number of meetings per day. using one of my favorite tools, Zapier. Here's how it works.

  1. Trigger: An event is added to my Google Calendar, doesn't matter the source
  2. Filter: Only if there is a specified location, such as Zoom or Google Meet. That way, it's not including some of my time blocking for checking emails and such.
  3. Action: Add an all-day calendar event called "No More Meetings!" that shows me as Busy.

Voila. Now my Calendly will show I'm not available, regardless of the link used.

It's very rare that I'd want more than one meeting per day. I'm a writer, not a doctor — nothing I work on is an emergency.

If you have questions about this setup, reply and ask!

3) Tip:

I'm fortunate that I can say "no" to some client work. I hope that at some point in your career, you'll have similar power — because it's immensely satisfying to remove difficult people from your life.

Some perfectly valid reasons to break up with clients:

  • Terrible work, or lack of respect for your work
  • Lack of integrity (if you're a writer for example, that the client condones plagiarism or wants you to be misleading/inaccurate)
  • Goes against your values (I broke up with a client who thought client change was "no big deal")

One of the best things about being a freelancer or entrepreneur is that you get to choose your clients. People always talk about breaking up with clients because they're hard to deal with or don't pay well. Not enough people talk about breaking up with clients simply because you don't like them.

That's it for this issue of Tinkering! See you again in two weeks.


Anna Burgess Yang

LinkedIn | Threads | Medium | Substack | TikTok (yikes)

Want more ideas?

My response to the comments on TikTok (and a CEO's role in work as a whole).

Is there a "right time" to quit your 9-5 job? Spoiler: no. But here are some signals.

If you're enjoying this newsletter, please forward it to a friend. Sharing is caring. Or you can buy me a coffee and fuel my writing habit.

Anna Burgess Yang

I'm a workflow geek, remote work evangelist, and #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. I educate and equip people to take control of their time and energy, their money, the tools they use, and their careers. I also like naps.

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